There you are. You're standing on the edge of the jungle, machete in hand. With your faithful companion monkey by your side, you bushwhack through the last hundred yards of deep underbrush in the sweltering heat. Your Amazon adventure has brought you to this point, teetering on the edge of success.
If your calculations are correct, just ahead is a pool full of cold water at the base of an ancient temple full of riches that will be all yours. You part the tall grasses in front of you and your eyes fall upon—
Beep! Beep! Beep! What?! No! The alarm clock does it again! A wonderful dream was about to get even better, only to be interrupted too soon. You hurry and close your eyes. Can you slip back into sleep and pick up where you left off? That's the question on the mind of many Wonder Friends.
If this has happened to you in the past, you already know the answer. Although some people claim that they've been able to return to sleep and resume a dream where they previously left off, most of us know that the previous dream is gone. Dreams are like wisps of wind that come and go. They're hard to grasp onto and almost-impossible to return to once we lose our grip on them.
Why are dreams difficult, if not impossible, to resume once you've woken up? It might have something to do with the fact that experts believe that most people have several dreams each night. If you remember anything about your dreams at all, it's likely you only remember parts of the last dream you were having before you woke up.
Humans dream every 90 minutes throughout the night, with each subsequent dream lasting longer than the previous one. For example, your first dream might last only five minutes, while the last dream you have before you wake up could be 45 minutes or more. Many people have a dozen or more dreams each night. At that rate, most people will have over 100,000 dreams over the course of their lives!
“But I don't dream!" is what some people might say. Experts would reply, “Yes, you do!" Everyone dreams. Men, women, children, and even babies dream. We all dream. If you think you don't dream, it's probably because you simply don't remember any of your dreams.
Dreams are so difficult to remember because of how the brain works during sleep. Dreams occur during REM sleep. Unfortunately for those of us who would like to remember our dreams, the frontal lobes, where most memories are formed and stored, are inactive during REM sleep.
If you really want to resume and remember a good dream, just lie still when you wake up. If you stay still, you may be able to drift back into a dreamlike state for several minutes. Moving around upon waking up disconnects you from your last dream, so if you want to find out what happens in that interrupted dream, don't move a muscle!